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  January 29, 2001

UConn Students Sweep Awards
in Web-Based Stock Market Game

UConn business students have shown their stock market savvy by sweeping first, second and third place in a simulation trading game sponsored by Global Markets Inc., an on-line trading site.

A team of undergraduates majoring in finance took first place, and the second and third place winners were first-year MBA students, announced last Monday.

More than 30 teams from 10 universities competed from across the U.S. in a stock market game that mirrored's actual trading site. Each team was allotted $1 million in a mock portfolio. The teams were evaluated on return on investment, strategy development, decision making and portfolio diversity and complexity.

At the end of 10 weeks, a panel of judges, chosen by from academia and the business community, evaluated team portfolios, strategy sheets and journal entries to select the winning teams.

Among the schools UConn beat are five listed in Business Week's Top 30 Best Business Schools: Michigan State University; Berkeley, UCLA, the University of Maryland, and the University of Michigan.

"We're proud of the students," says Thomas O'Brien, professor and head of the finance department. "The contest was about real money management rather than just luck. It was partly performance and partly coherence of strategy and risk, which makes it such an important contest."

O'Brien was faculty advisor for the undergraduate team. Barbara Beliveau, assistant professor of finance, advised the MBA students.

The game took place Oct. 9 through Dec. 15, one of the worst 10-week stretches the market had experienced all year. That made it a better learning experience, according to Kamal Mustafa, chairman of "Students need to learn to develop a strategy that works best for them, make decisions that support that strategy and also adjust to market conditions."

"The students were actually very lucky to be caught entering the market in a downturn," Mustafa says. "Although they may be disappointed with their returns, it is a much better learning experience to live through a down cycle than ride an up one."

Nicole Chelel, vice president of marketing for global markets, says the three UConn teams did a "great job. The team that came in first place did an extraordinary job because they did solid portfolio management," she says.

"They really mapped out their strategy. The team that came in second place had a very high return but were mostly day traders. It was a strong performance, given the market at that time. They all adjusted well to things that were going on, which is what made them stand out from a lot of the other teams we had in the simulation."

Each first-place team member received a $2,000 prize. They are: Jessica Wescott, Scott Bontempo, Ken Langschultz, and Sean Garvey.

Second place winners each received $1,000. They are: Bo Li, Liqun Ding, Eric Goldberg, Juliana Stolarova Ornek, and Mami Nishimune.

Third-place winners each received $500. They are: Sean Mulready, Jacklyn Claxton, Paula Ehlers and Joseph Kitamirike.

Sherry Fisher